By Katie Stancombe
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Chamber presented its 2015 national rankings report, more specifically known as the Indiana Vision 2025 Report Card, on Thursday.
The progress plan was put into place in 2012 and includes 33 goals to achieve in four main areas:
- Outstanding Talent
- Attractive Business Climate
- Superior Infrastructure
- Dynamic and Creative Culture
Current results follow a previous report conducted in 2013 that established benchmarks in 59 statistical metrics. The metrics help measure nearly all of the goals included in Indiana Vision 2025.
According to the Indiana Chamber Foundation, “Indiana Vision 2025 is comprehensive effort, coordinated by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, to provide leadership, direction and a long-range economic development strategy for the state of Indiana.” The effort launched in 2012 and was a collaboration by a 24-member committee.
Of these 59 metrics, Indiana has improved its national ranking in 28 areas, declined in 19 areas, and remained the same or had no updated data available in 12.
“This plan and this effort has produced results and we believe it will continue to produce results,” said Chamber CEO Kevin Brinegar. “Because it helps sharpen the focus on what we need to do across the street for Indiana to be in the best competitive position and for Hoosiers to have the best chance to prosper.”
Some of the highlighted areas of advancement include:
- Number one national ranking of Regulatory Freedom Index Tax
- Improved math and reading scores of fourth and eighth grade Hoosiers, ranking in the top ten across the nation
- Poverty rates soared from a rank of 35 to a rank of 16 nationwide in just two years.
However, from the report, it is evident that Indiana’s entrepreneurial activity has been in decline for more than a decade.
“We need more entrepreneurs and they need more money to develop their ideas,” Brinegar said. “Many efforts are going on, but they’re not yielding enough results, at least as indicated in the reports of this report card.”
In response to concerns about potential negative economic impact as a result of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the recent HIV breakout in Scott County, Vice President of Economic Development Cameron Carter said that these issues are “not helpful, but not stopping us.”
“You cannot keep good ideas and good people down,” Carter said. “We will get past this. We can’t measure the economic impact just yet.”
He also said that the negative headlines across the state and nation are not “the face of Indiana.”
Katie Stancombe is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.